Sabut Masoor Dal (Whole Pink Lentils)

Hari is an expert on dals, as he is on several other topics. So, one evening when we were deciding upon the dal for the next day, he suggested sabut masoor dal. I have had masoor dal (pink lentils) several times – it is one of my favourite dals. But the whole lentil (brown in colour) was alien to me. I asked him if it would taste good – and he assured me that it will taste outstanding. So, with a little trepidation, I sat down to lunch the next day. And was completely surprised with the taste of the dal. Absolutely fantastic. Honestly, I ate more than I should have done. Since then, we have repeated this dal several times. Nowadays, I don’t say that masoor dal is my favourite. Instead, I say that masoor dal, in any form, is my favourite!

Sabut Masoor Dal

1 cup whole pink lentils
6 cups of water
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1″ piece ginger, chopped
1 green chili, chopped
3/4 tsp cumin seeds (sabut jeera, jeeragam)
1/2 tsp coriander powder (dhania powder, kothamalli pofi)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder (haldi, manjal podi)
1/4 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves, to garnish
Soak the lentils overnight
Drain and set aside
Heat a pressure cooker and add the cumin seeds
When they begin to splutter, add the onion, green chili and ginger
Sauté for about 5 minutes or till the onion turns translucent
Add the tomatoes and continue to sauté till the tomatoes are well done
De-glaze the bottom of the pressure cooker using a spatula
Now add in the coriander powder, garam masala, turmeric powder and salt
Mix well and continue to de-glaze
After a minute, add the lentil
Mix well
Add the water, stir well and close the pressure cooker
Cook on high flame for 10-12 whistles
Remove from flame and let the pressure release naturally
Open the lid and add the coriander leaves
Serve hot with steamed red/brown/millet rice or Indian flat breads

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